The government is expected to grow the revenue base by raising excise on beer and tobacco products by 20 percent.

The Finance Minister, Snyder Rini in tabling the 2008 budget this morning said that the government is determined to place the country on a firm economic and financial footing.

"Without this there is little hope of improving the living standards for our rural people and communities."

Mr. Rini said in the second reading of the Bill that the increase in excise on the two products is to limit the social and health risks pose by the consumption of the products.

When making the announcement, the Finance Minister said the raise in excise on these two products is done to help fund the removal of the goods tax on rice.

He said the government intends to increase the rate of tax on number of goods which are currently subject to low tax compared to other countries and which have social and health risks.

"I am therefore obliged to also announce that there will be a 20 percent increase in the rate of excise on tobacco and beer and an increase in the gaming tax from 5 to 35 percent."